Posts Tagged With: Harvard Square

Day 1645: Empathy

Empathy appears in

EMPATHY

  1.  the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it.
  2.  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also, the capacity for this.
  • the actions of people I love, and
  • a license plate from New Hampshire.

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Empathy appears in all those places, but not very much in the news lately.  Is it non-empathic of me to believe that most people in the news don’t seem to have the capacity for it?

Are any of my other photos from yesterday infused with empathy?

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If I were the Queen of Amazing Empathy, I wouldn’t have eaten all those mussels last night.

Alanis Morissette might be the Queen of Amazing Empathy.

I believe that gratitude is part of empathy, so thanks to all who contributed to today’s blog and — of course! — to you, for your empathy.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1631: See

See, I’ve already written several posts with the word “See” in the title (see Day 1354: See the love in everything, see Day 1245: What we choose to see, see Day 1202: Share how you see the world, and see Day 610: See the world). When I look at those previous posts, I see how my blogging style and choices have changed over the years. You might not see the differences, but I do.

See, the main reason I’m writing today’s “See” post is because yesterday I saw my friend Deb and we went to SEE in Harvard Square to seek new eyeglasses. See, Deb (who I’ve seen for about 50 years) and I  see eye-to-eye about many things, including  how great the frames are at SEE. Deb and I are a little concerned we won’t see each other as much when I move near the sea, but I see lots of fun times for us in the future.

Would you like to see the photos from SEE?

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Do you see Christina in that last photo?  She works at SEE and is also a counseling and psychology graduate student at Lesley University. I could see a lot of great qualities in Christina that will serve her well when she sees clients in the future.

Would you like to see my other photos from yesterday?

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Can you see “Happy Father’s Day” in that sign above?  I don’t get to see my late father any more, but it makes me happy to see him in this old photo of us.

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I see that YouTube has this song, which I remember my father singing.

I’ll be seeing you in your comments, below.

See, I am very grateful to all who helped me see and share all the elements of this post and — of course! —  to you, for seeing my blog, here and now.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1225: You Reading This, Be Ready

You reading this, be ready.

Yesterday, on Mother’s Day 2016, my son Aaron and I were ready to read this  on a tree in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA:

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You reading this, be ready for all the other photos I took yesterday, as the sun was finally ready to appear  after my rainy vacation week.

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I, writing this, be ready to tell you, reading this, that

  • yesterday was my best Mother’s Day ever and
  • I’m ready to go back to work.

You reading this, be ready for this music by Curtis Mayfield:

Thanks to all who helped me ready this post for reading and to you — of course! — for being ready to read it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1223: Creativity on the move

Because I love creativity AND being on the move, I noticed this sign yesterday in Harvard Square, Cambridge, USA:

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I was on the move a lot yesterday, proudly creating my daily blog post in the morning with my lovely and creative assistant:

…  creatively walking to Harvard Square past moving creations:

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…  moving around creative Harvard Square:

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… creating a return to my car through some moving but brief moments of sunshine:

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… finding Oscar had creatively moved back on my laptop:

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… and meeting a creative songwriter/singer/musician/social activist/writer/teacher, Ari, at an Open Mic held at the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington Massachusetts.

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Ari’s creativity is on the move at his WordPress blog, here.

Ben, Ari, and Ari’s son Rand were all movingly welcoming to me and my boyfriend Michael last night:

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Ari, Ben, and I each creatively moved up to the microphone last night at the Kickstand Cafe’s first-Friday-of-every-month Open Mic.  Ari and Ben performed original songs with amazing creativity in the 1st and 10th slots of the evening. Then, Michael creatively moved his iPhone to capture my debut performance at a singing Open Mic, now creatively moving on YouTube.

As I  listen to that this morning,  I am creatively moved to write that I probably could have sung even better if I hadn’t nervously sat for hours without moving or eating, waiting for my turn to perform near the end of the night.

Now let’s see your creativity on the move, in a comment!

Thanks to all who helped me be creativity on the move yesterday and to you — of course! — for your moving creativity, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1015: Envision the Opportunities

Yesterday, when my 17-year-old son Aaron and I took the opportunity to go into Harvard Square (which you might be able to envision in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), we didn’t envision all the opportunities we’d find there.

For example, I didn’t envision the opportunity to see a sign on the subway that was directly related to the post I had written earlier in the day.

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When we got to Harvard Square, we discovered an Oktoberfest celebration and HONK!, a Festival of Activist Street Bands. (I would have envisioned the opportunity for HONK to be an acronym, but it isn’t.)   Neither Aaron nor I had envisioned the opportunity for Oktoberfest or HONK!, but there they were.

I envisioned many opportunities to take pictures, so I did.

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During previous opportunities in Harvard Square, I had never envisioned a train like this  …

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… nor the closing of the  Harvard Square Theater (where I had many opportunities to envision great films) .

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I’m envisioning opportunities to share more pictures from yesterday, but first, can you envision me missing an opportunity to introduce music into this post?

I can now envision the opportunity for you to find The Leftist Marching Band playing on YouTube.

Here are other envisioned images I had the opportunity to capture, yesterday:

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Can you envision the opportunities if we actually enjoyed and did not destroy?

Envision the opportunities I have to thank so many who helped me create this post, including my son Aaron, Harvard Square, the HONK festival, the Leftist Marching Band, and other activist bands from Detroit and elsewhere.  And allow me the opportunity to thank you — of course! — for all the opportunities you envision, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 938: Let us read between the lines

Here’s a line that appeared in my line of sight yesterday, through a restaurant window in Harvard Square (a stop on the Red Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association, lined up with Harvard University):

In case you’re having trouble reading between those lines, the main line says

Lettuce read beetween the limes

… a line I read as a triple pun. While I enjoy lines with puns, I would draw the line at two.

Nevertheless, I appreciated reading that line yesterday, because I read it as an invitation to pay attention and go deeper, especially if all meanings are not immediately obvious.

Harvard Square is an excellent place to practice reading between the lines, because

  • It’s a square, so there are at least four lines,
  • Many of the architectural lines have been around for centuries, and
  • Many of the lines you hear spoken there are smart, deep, and complicated, so there’s plenty of meaning between the lines, waiting to be read.

Lettuce see if there are any lines in yesterday’s photos we can read beetween.


That’s  the first photo I lined up yesterday, while I was walking around with my 17-year-old son, Aaron. I don’t have to read between the lines to know that Aaron prefers me to not snap photos when I’m in his line of sight, but he was okay with my lining up that one. How would you read between the lines there?


Those lines were okay with Aaron, too. How might you read between them?


At this point, I started reading between the lines without Aaron, who was meeting his long-time friend Cameron for a birthday party between the lines in Harvard Square. How would you read between those lines?


In the 1970s, I saw comedian Robert Klein perform his stand-up routine two nights in a row at that club. How would you read between those lines?

Here are two shots I took through the windows of the Harvard Coop:


Any lines to read between there?


In a direct line with the Beat Hotel, I encountered this guy, playing impressive beats and lines on a keyboard, with a line of people listening:



How might you read between those lines?

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Here are more lines I saw yesterday, ready for reading between:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
You might read between the lines of those photos and conclude that I bought a cookie in Harvard Square yesterday. I did not. Instead, I read between the lines of my craving for sweets and came up with a new diet plan. For as long as I can hold the line on this, I shall mindfully indulge only my sense of smell around delicious cookies, candies, and other things that usually are on a direct line between my brain and my tummy.

Reading between the lines of that last paragraph: I want to look great for my high school reunion in September, so I’ll be smelling cookies, not eating them.

Any readings between those lines?

Now I need to read between the musical  lines and leave a good enough  song between the lines of this post.

Here‘s one of the tunes that a self-loving creature was playing yesterday on the keyboard, between the lines of Harvard Square:

It’s time to finish the lines of this post, so I can read between the lines spoken by people seeking therapy support in my office.

Between-the-lines thanks to my son, to Harvard Square, to Rick James, and to you — of course! — for reading this between other lines you choose, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , | 44 Comments

Day 922: Thumbs

Because my thumbs are sore this morning  —  from typing so much on my iPhone keyboard — I am focusing on sayings about thumbs, including:

  1. “Thumbs up” (meaning approval)
  2. “Thumbs down” (meaning a negative judgment)
  3. “All thumbs” (meaning clumsy), and
  4. “Stick out like a sore thumb” (which is what my first heart surgeon told my parents my first cardiac pacemaker would do, when I was 10 years old).

Pain makes things stick out like a sore thumb, so it’s no wonder my mind is thumbing through  thumb-related associations and memories.

My calves are sore too, today, but I can’t think of any sayings about calves. If you can, I certainly won’t thumb my nose at that.

Are there any thumbs in the photos I snapped yesterday, always using my left thumb?


No thumbs to be seen in that photo, but I am giving a big thumbs down to myself for leaving my car’s moonroof open during a night of rain.


Something’s up in that photo, but it’s not a thumb.

I can see several thumbs in that last photo. Can you?

No thumbs there.

See that guy, to the left, holding his thumb at his side? He’s wearing a New York Yankee shirt and hat, right next to Boston’s Fenway Park. Moments later, two Boston fans verbally thumbed their noses at him, with

“You’re in the wrong city, buddy.”


There he is again, after that thumbs down.

Speaking of thumbs down, that’s how I feel about one of my favorite Starbucks baristas, Kevin, leaving the Boston hospital where we both work.


Kevin is using his thumb to put the going-away card I just gave him into his apron pocket.


Thumbs up to Kevin for  going to another Starbucks closer to where he lives and thumbs up to Alex, for staying.

Personally, I give two thumbs up to these next two photos, from where I work:

Thumbs up or down to any of these photos I took after work?


  
  
  
That’s Tom, who said he’d give me a thumbs up if I contributed just $1 to a campaign to fight hunger.

Here’s Tom’s  reaction


… when I told him I’d thumbed over five times that amount.


There’s one of the nice guys who works where I park my car near Fenway Park. I gave him a thumbs up for putting my car near that door, so I could make a quick escape.

I always give two thumbs up to spending a Friday evening with my 17-year-old son Aaron and my 50-something-year-old boyfriend, Michael. Last night, I used my thumbs on the steering wheel of my cat* to drive us to Harvard Square in Cambridge. A big thumbs up to all the fun we had there.


  


  


  

After I used my thumbs to eat a “Longy School of Music” ( not pictured) and was all thumbs enough to spill some of that Smores Frappe (pictured) on myself, we went next door to the Harvard Book Store, where we thumbed through lots of books:


  
  
  

  
  
  
  
  
  
  

  

  

  
I bought one of those dozens of books, pictured above . A gigantic thumbs up to anybody who can guess which book that is.

What thumb-related music am I using for this all-thumbs post?

Here’s a hint:

It’s “Thumbelina” from the movie, Hans Christian Andersen!

My thumbs are too sore for me to give a proper thumbs up to all who helped me write this post, so I’ll just say


to them and to you, too!


* That’s a typo. I drove my car to Harvard Square, not my cat.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Day 301: Bearing up

Yesterday, I met my old friend Lawry in Harvard Square, Cambridge, for brunch, with some members of his family.

It was great to see everybody.  I loved talking to Lawry, his wife, his daughter, his sister, his brother, and his brother’s wife.

It was particularly special for me to spend time with them, because I had been feeling some anxiety, over the weekend, about my health (and some about the Boston Red Sox, too).

And it was wonderful to be back in Harvard Square. (See “What’s the problem?” and “Random Images (paired)“, two earlier posts, for more adventures in Harvard Square.)

Here’s a little photo essay, about my time in Harvard Square yesterday.

A Little Photo Essay

by Ann

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On my way to meet Lawry and his family for brunch, I saw this amazing tree.  I had to stop and take a picture. Thank you, tree.

It was another beautiful autumn day. Those of us who live in the Greater Boston area have been remarking, this year, about how friggin’ great the fall weather has been.  Those of us who dread the onset of winter in the Greater Boston area have been wondering whether this is a good or bad omen about how painful it’s going to be, too soon. (Actually, I can only speak for my own thoughts about this.)

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Moments after  I took that first shot of the tree,  I had to stop and take the above photo. Why?  It’s a sign about a group, people!

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Here’s a closer shot of the sign (and some of the flags) that you can see in the background of the previous photo.

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As I said, it was a beautiful day. Look at those trees and that sky.

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Another sign in front of the church. I snapped this, as a is Note To Self:  “Ann, make sure you sing more (especially as the cold and dark descend)!”

After I took that photo, I stopped dilly-dallying, and focused on getting to brunch with Lawry and his family.

I didn’t have any photos of Lawry or his family members to show you today, because I was too focused on interacting with each of them, in the moment. Right now, I wish I had some visual proof of how great they all are, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.

After brunch, I went to Urban Outfitters because I needed a scarf and gloves — that is, gear for winter,  coming too soon to a location near me.

And …  I DID find a great scarf and some colorful gloves there, which definitely cheered me up. (My philosophy: If I’m going to be cold, I might as well look cool.)

While I was shopping  in the store, I couldn’t help but notice this:

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I had never seen anything quite like THAT.  I’ve noticed lots of children — and adults — wearing animal hats in these parts, but a full-bear winter coat?  I was very intrigued, but assumed it was most likely just for display. (I mean, it’s almost Halloween, for heaven’s sake.)

However, when I was in line to pay for my merchandise, I noticed that the people in front of me — a woman and her son —  had just bought one of those bear coats, which was being stuffed into a bag. I blurted out, “Wow!  You got one of those!  Can I see it?”

The woman paused, but then kindly took it out of the bag, to show me. She told me it was for her son, Asa, who was a student at Boston College. “Will you try it on for me?” I asked Asa, as I told them both about this blog.

This was Asa’s reply:

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How cool is THAT?

Now it’s a day later, and I’m still feeling better.

Many thanks to Asa and his mother, Lawry and his family, Christ Church Cambridge, Urban Outfitters, all things that make life bearable, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 238: Random Images (paired)

I wasn’t sure what to post about on this Monday morning, so I thought I would do a Random Post. Rather than my usual Random Thoughts, though, this is a post about Random Images. That means I get to include some photos I’ve taken lately, which haven’t appeared in previous posts.

To give this post a wee bit more structure, I am going to post those pictures in pairs — two photos at a time, that have some connection (and differences, of course).

Okay? Let’s get started!

Photo A:

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Photo B:

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I took these two photos in Harvard Square last month, right before I left for my trip to London and Edinburgh. The connection? The photos show two sides of the same sign, in front of a cafe/restaurant. What did I want to say about this, right now? I’ve been noticing that conversations and attitudes about diet — about what people eat — seem to be “split” lately, between:

  1. Food that is really, really good for you — so health-oriented, with so many restrictions, that I begin to get scared that everything I eat is poisonous except for, maybe, just cool, clear water (and sometimes, a stuffed cabbage), but no, wait! water is a problem, too, especially if it’s in the wrong receptacle, etc. etc., OR
  2. Food that is really, really “bad for you” — so let’s eat that sugar, that fat, all that stuff that’s bad for us, packed as tightly as possible into a single serving, and screw you, diets!!

Next pairing!

Photo A:

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Photo B:

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These two photos are separated in space and time. The first one was taken during that aforementioned trip to Harvard Square; the second one taken a week or so later, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Similarities? Both involve people dressed up in period costumes, performances, and trying to sell somebody something.

Next pairing!

Photo A:

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Photo B:

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This is another pairing that was very close in space and time. Our last night in Edinburgh, I noticed these two buildings, a couple of blocks away from each other, that had windows illuminated in one color — green in the first building and purple in the second building. I had never seen anything quite like this, didn’t know how this special effect had been created, and wanted to capture it.

Last pairing, for this blog post!

Photo A:

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Photo B:

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Similarities? Both photos were taken after I returned home from the trip to Edinburgh, both feature the same domesticated short-haired cat, and both involve a special effect. The difference? In the first one, the photographer intervened in the staging of it; in the second one, she just captured the moment.

That concludes our blog post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to Mel Brooks’s 2000 year old man (for the reference to his strict diet of just water and maybe sometimes a stuffed cabbage), to special effects wizards everywhere, to performers and performances both staged and improvised, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 218: What’s the problem?

I started this blog post, last night, around 1:15 AM:

So I’m going on a great trip, starting at 9:30 PM tonight, with my wonderful 15-year-old son.

Things are going well at work.

I’ve been enjoying writing this blog.

I feel like I’m learning a lot, every day.

I’ve prepared enough for this trip, definitely.

So what’s the problem?

Why am I anxious, fearful, wanting to hide, and irritated? Why am I focusing on worst case scenarios?  Why am I feeling overwhelmed by decisions I need to make about packing and so on, when I know there is no right or wrong decision, and it’s all solvable?

It doesn’t make sense.

Although I usually believe that everything makes sense, on some level.

And, as I’ve heard lots of people say, in similar situations, “I don’t like when I’m feeling this way. I SHOULDN’T be feeling this way.  I should be happy.”

Well, maybe I could try this: just be with the feelings.

Be pissed off and irritated, for no reason.

Be anxious and fretful, for no reason.

Instead of trying to overcome those uncomfortable feelings with positive re-thinking, maybe I could just be irrationally and unreasonably cranky, right now.

Okay, I’ll give myself an assignment: to have all those feelings I feel uncomfortable with right now:

Frustration

Fear

Then, I put my laptop aside, and was able to fall asleep.  (Yay!)

Then, about an hour later, I woke up and text-messaged (!) my bf, who was downstairs:

“Hi Michael!”

I didn’t know if he would see the message, but I guess he did, because he came upstairs and we had an amazing talk about topics including childhood experiences, guilt, depression, and people we knew who had tried to commit suicide (and one who had succeeded). That might sound like an awful conversation to have at that particular time, when my hope was to fall back asleep and feel refreshed and ready for the rest of my trip preparations. But the conversation also included another topic. Love. So it was awe-ful, in a different way.

After the conversation, I cried. Hard.

It all helped.  And I fell back asleep.

Now it’s morning. And there are several things I have to do, including bringing my car into my mechanic for some unexpected, major work.

So what is it that I would like to write this morning, before I end this blog post?

Maybe this:

I am afraid of flying.

Actually, as an old friend pointed out to me a long time ago, regarding my fear of heights:  “Ann, you’re not afraid of heights. You’re afraid of dying.”

He was right.

Every time I’m going to fly, my busy human mind goes lots of places (as human minds do).  And my mind goes to the possibility that the plane will crash. Which affects my mood. Which increases my anxiety.

And which makes me feel like I need to get everything done, now, because what if I’m gone, tomorrow?

While living each day like it could be your last (something I’m pretty good at, with good reason) has an up side, for sure…

Like most things, it has a down side, too.

Before I close, I wanted to introduce you to a stranger I met yesterday.

I was walking around Harvard Square, in Cambridge, getting some foreign currency, playing with my travel anxieties by “rehearsing” various travel-y things, and pretending that I’d never been to Harvard Square before, when I walked by this guy:

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I was distracted by lots of things, so it took me a moment to take that in.  When I did, I stopped, took out a dollar, and came back.  I told this guy, “I used to be in advertising, and that’s the best ad I’ve seen in MONTHS.”  Then, we had a great little conversation, where I ended up telling him that I was nervous about flying. He said, “Oh!  I understand!  But you know what?  Flying is the safest mode of travel.” And he told me that he knew what he was talking about, because he used to work for Delta Airlines.

And as we were having our conversation, several more people stopped, said something appreciative to him, and put money in his cup.

He also told me that he had several other signs he used.  He recited them all, with pride. I asked, “Which one does the best for you?”  And he gave me the answer I expected, “This one.”

Then, before I bid this gentleman adieu, I took his picture, told him I’d like to put him in my blog, and asked him his name.

“Caspar,” he said. “Like the friendly ghost.”

I like thinking that ghosts are friendly.

Thanks to Caspar, friendly creatures everywhere, and — of course! — you, for reading today.  Here’s hoping I’ll be continuing this blog, daily, on my travels with my son.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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